Port Blair, May 4: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become Open Defecation Free (ODF), and the fourth UT to achieve ODF status after Daman & Diu, Chandigarh and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. At a State Level function held at the lawns of the Raj Niwas today, the Lt Governor, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) as the chief guest, declared A&N Islands as ‘Open Defecation Free’ under Swatch Bharat Mission (Gramin). The Lt. Governor also unveiled the ODF Declaration Board in the presence of the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr. Anindo Majumdar, DGP, Smt. Nuzhat Hassan, Adhyaksha Zilla Parishad South Andaman, Smt. Baby Farida, Secretary RD, Mr. Udit Prakash Rai, Ambassador, Swatch Bharath Mission, A&N Islands, Mr. Naresh Chander Lal, a good gathering of PRI members and officials of Rural Development Department.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt Governor expressed his happiness that Swatch Bharat Mission (Gramin) has been implemented in the Islands in an effective manner, which is the biggest flagship programme led by our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi to provide every household a proper toilet to make the entire Country Open-Defecation Free (ODF). The implementation of Swatch Bharat Mission (Gramin) started in A&N Islands during the financial year 2015-16 with the aim to achieve ODF status; which was achieved by January 31, 2018 itself, well before the date set by the Govt. of India, the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor congratulated the Chief Secretary, the Adhyaksha ZP, the Ambassador SBM, the Secretary RD and all PRIs for their co-operation and support in achieving the ‘Open Defecation Free’ status for A&N Islands. The Lt Governor especially thanked all the citizens of the Islands for their whole hearted co-operation to achieve the status of ODF prior to the deadline set by the Govt. of India.
The Lt Governor also appealed the Islanders to maintain the ODF status in a sustainable manner and to keep the surroundings clean & hygienic. The Lt Governor also called upon the media to further intensify the sensitization campaign about Swatch Bharat Mission. Media can also name and shame the persons caught violating the Swatch Bharat Mission, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor also felicitated the staff of the Rural Development Department for their painstaking efforts in achieving the ODF status.
In his address, the Chief Secretary, Mr. Anindo Majumdar commended the combined efforts made by all to achieve the ODF status in A&N Islands. “Now, in the next phase we have to concentrate on Solid Waste Management”, the Chief Secretary added.
The Brand Ambassador SBM, A&N Islands, Mr. Naresh Chander Lal informed that the school children are well aware about cleanliness and they are working as torch bearers to spread the message of ‘Swatchta’.
In his welcome address, the Secretary RD, Mr. Udit Prakash Rai informed that in A&N Islands the number of eligible beneficiaries under SBM were 16735 out of which 14849 households were provided incentive amount of Rs, 12,000 each for construction of IHHL. Through proper motivation, about 1886 persons constructed toilets on their own expense, he added.
The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Director RD, Mr. Govind Ram.